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Lancaster 3 – 7 Liverpool John Moores
Lancaster could not follow up their opening day victory, as they were comprehensively beaten by Liverpool John Moores (LJMU) in a 10-goal thriller. From controversial refereeing decisions to a few screamers along the way, this game had it all. The home side went into the game on the back of a 3-1 away win at the LJMU second XI, but were to have no such luck against a much stronger first team.
From the outset, LJMU kept the ball well and frustrated the home side. The first chance of the game fell to LJMU, but their centre-back could only head straight at goalkeeper Matt Wood from a free kick.
But for all the possession LJMU had, it was Lancaster who went in front with striker James Hall clinically drilling the ball under the keeper to put the home side 1-0 up.
However, this lead lasted barely a minute before Gerard Forde put in a brilliant cross which Lancaster failed to clear and it was volleyed in at the back post by LJMU striker Niall Grace to make it 1-1.
Goalscorer then turned provider as Grace squared it up for Ford to tap in from six yards and almost immediately after Lancaster went 1-0 up they found themselves 2-1 behind.
After a frenzy of early goals, the game settled down and Lancaster were quelled for the most part as LJMU maintained their shape and held the ball up well.
On the rare occasion the home side put a series of passes together, which resulted in James Hall firing the ball over the bar after some good build up.
Somewhat against the run of play, Lancaster levelled the scores going into the half-time break. LJMU’s failure to clear a throw-in resulted in a scramble in the box before Jamie Daniels found himself free to pass the ball into an empty net.
Nevertheless, any momentum Lancaster gained from going in level at half-time evaporated quickly right at the start of the second half. From a corner, LJMU centre-back Mark Kelly poked in at the back post following some questionable marking from the home side.
Things got worse for Lancaster, as Matt Haythorn was brought off with an ankle injury and shortly after LJMU increased their lead further. A ball into the box was only half cleared and smashed into the bottom corner by Ant Miley.
4-2 very quickly became 5-2, much to Lancaster’s aggravation; as Ford ran through and drilled the ball in off the post, Lancaster ran to the referee arguing that the throw-in which led to LJMU’s goal should have been awarded their way.
If that goal had an element of controversy surrounding it, Lancaster could have no such complaints about the next goal. Ford picked up the ball 25 yards out and curled it beautifully into the top corner to put the game out of sight.
Lancaster restored some pride with a late consolation as Hall set up Aaron Blakely to tap the ball between the posts.
The 10th goal of the game was a fitting way to round off a thoroughly entertaining spectacle, with LJMU winger Michael Kirby charging forward from midfield and unleashing an unstoppable shot into the top-right corner.
The 7-3 score line did indeed mark a thrilling game, but not one that Lancaster will want to remember too quickly.